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Congress is Reconsidering “Anti Troll” Legislation

On February 5, 2015, Congressman Bob Goodlatte reintroduced the “Innovation Act”; a bill designed to implement several changes to the legal framework governing United States patent law. The law is designed to make it more...more

Mandatory Arbitration Undercutting Consumer Rights?

New Jersey businesses may face increased litigation if proposed legislation to bar mandatory arbitration clauses in consumer contracts is made law. The proposed bill – recommended for passage by the Assembly Consumer Affairs...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Public Hearings on Governor’s Tax Reform Proposal Complete - This week, the Appropriations...more

Japan: Significant Changes In Consumption Tax

Raise in Consumption Tax Rate Postponed - On November 18, 2014, Shinzo Abe, the Japanese Prime Minister, officially announced that the increase of the consumption tax rate which was originally planned to occur in October...more

Tax Policy Update

NUMBER OF THE WEEK: $160,000. The value of one gift bag at the Oscars on Sunday night. According to the Internal Revenue Service, contents of the gift bags cannot be treated as gifts for federal income tax purposes because...more

Texas Supreme Court Argument Preview - 2/15

On Tuesday, February 24, 2015, beginning at 9:00 am, the Supreme Court of Texas will hear argument in the following three cases...more

Congressional leaders set a deadline for tax reform: key elements in the top proposals

Just prior to leaving Washington for official travel at the end of last week, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) told reporters that he is in constant touch with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew with respect...more

Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - February 2015 #3

The Impact of Regulation on Community Banks: Harvard Study and Senate Banking Committee Hearing Highlight Differing Views. FDIC Director of Risk Management Supervision Doreen Eberley testified last week before the Senate...more

Understanding the 4 “P’s” Before the P3 (Public-Private Partnership)

To get a P3 proposal to the starting line, public officials need to make sure that there is clarity and agreement on basic issues and priorities - Aging and inadequate infrastructure, required upgrades and scarce...more

Cuba Sanctions: 10 Important Changes

Ten key changes to US sanctions and export regulations for Cuba. On January 15, 2015, the Departments of the Treasury and Commerce revised the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and the Export Administration...more

The U.S. Complaint Against the Government of China in the WTO, Including the Targeting of Chinese Medical Device Manufacturers

On February 11, 2015, the United States filed a complaint before the World Trade Organization (WTO), alleging that certain actions by the national, regional and local governments of the People’s Republic of China are in...more

Update on President Obama’s “Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection,” Part II: The Executive Order

As a follow up to our summary of the key takeaways from the White House’s first Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection, the centerpiece of which was President Obama’s signing of a new Executive Order, “Promoting...more

Details of Governor Bill Haslam’s “Revenue Modernization Act” Emerge: Broad-Sweeping Tax Proposals to all Major Tennessee Taxes

The Administration introduced the “Revenue Modernization Act” on February 11 in the Senate Finance Committee, and the proposal includes numerous modifications to all Tennessee’s major taxes, including economic nexus,...more

EU adds more separatists and five Russian officials to Ukraine related asset freeze list

The EU has extended its sanctions in relation to Ukraine by adding 19 persons and nine entities to the asset freeze list. These newly designated parties are deemed to be actively involved in separatist activities in Eastern...more

Campaign Contribution Limits Raised Again

In every odd-numbered year the Federal Election Commission (FEC) is required to adjust certain contribution limits, expenditure limits, and the lobbyist bundling disclosure threshold by indexing them to inflation. ...more

Sanctions Enforcement – Facilitation Violations

As sanctions enforcement continues to mature, the permutations of risks become more complex. One area where companies have significant exposure is when they can be accused of “facilitation.” ...more

EU sanctions against Russia: New targets and state of play

On 9 February 2015, the EU Foreign Affairs Council imposed new sanctions - asset freezes and travel bans - against 19 Russian and Ukrainian individuals and 9 entities that have been added to the 'black list' of sanctioned...more

What if the West Coast Ports Shut Down by Lockout or Strike? Is it Time to Invoke Taft-Hartley?

Since the expiration of a labor contract in July 2014, negotiations for a new contract have dragged on between management representatives of the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA)—a multi-employer bargaining association...more

Government, Businesses Prioritize Cybersecurity Spending

If spending is a good indicator of shifting priorities for both business and government, then cybersecurity is quickly becoming priority number one. Last week, the White House announced a proposed 10 percent increase...more

The President’s Groundhog’s Day Budget Casts a Shadow on Some but Offers Sunshine for Others

On February 2nd, President Obama released his Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 budget request to Congress. Along with the budget, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) released a volume called “General Explanations of the...more

Delaware Enacts Unclaimed Property Legislation That Addresses Some (But Not All) Holder Concerns

The Delaware Legislature appears to have heard some of the complaints of the unclaimed property community. Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed Senate Bill 11, which is based on the recommendations of the Delaware Task Force...more

Pensions at the Constitutional Convention, Part III: The Opponents and the Vote

We conclude our discussion of the July 21, 1970 debate on the Pension Protection Clause at the Illinois Constitutional Convention. Today, we’ll take a look at more statements by opponents of the measure, the summations by...more

"MSRB Issues Status Update on Draft Rule G-42"

Earlier this week, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) released an update on the status of Draft Rule G-42, which outlines the duties of non-solicitor municipal advisors. The MSRB indicated that it has further...more

Trade & Manufacturing - February 2015

In This Issue: - President Obama Presses For Advancement Of Trade Deals During State Of The Union - U.S. Sanctions Updates - Keystone Pipeline Debate Continues After Congress Approves Bill News Of...more

After a busy 2014 for sanctions, what can we expect in 2015?

2014 was a very eventful year for sanctions, with both the European Union (EU) and United States (US) making extensive use of trade sanctions to attain foreign policy goals. Certain sanctions measures against Iran were (and...more

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